A new trailer for Lovecraft Country has dropped. The one-hour HBO show series is an adaptation of the 2016 novel of the same name. With Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams acting as executive producers, the show has already generated plenty of interest. In light of the worldwide protests against the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer, the themes of racism and bigotry showcased in the trailer feel more relevant than ever. HBO had previously released the following synopsis for the show.
"HBO's new drama series, Lovecraft Country, based on the 2016 novel by Matt Ruff of the same name, debuts this August. The series follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he joins up with his friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father (Michael Kenneth Williams). This begins a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the terrifying monsters that could be ripped from a Lovecraft paperback."
The original novel on which the show is based was praised for its provocative take on monster horror through the prism of racism. The whole thing reads like something out of a Jordan Peele movie, which makes the filmmaker's involvement in the project as an executive producer all the more understandable.
The name Lovecraft is, of course, well known to horror fans. H.P. Lovecraft is often afforded the same reverence in the horror genre as J.R.R. Tolkein is among fantasy aficionados. Lovecraft was known for introducing the world to the concept of cosmic horror, where the monsters are not hiding in your closet, but living far away among the stars, whose mere contemplation can drive humans to madness and frenzy.
While Lovecraft Country does not appear to be referencing any specific Lovecraft creation like the demon-priest Cthulhu, it has that strain of bleak unpredictability suggesting madness and fear that made Lovecraft's writing so compelling.
Of course, the central premise of the Lovecraft Country novel is that for black Americans, racism is the real-world monster that is as deadly as any Lovecraft monster. The show appears to be putting forth the same argument with an anthology series of stories about various black characters, who all experience stark racism at the hands of their fellow countrymen while also dealing with mummies, zombies, and ghouls. As the main characters embark on a cross-country trip in search of their missing father, they discover that otherworldly horrors may not be as deadly as the bigotry they face due to their skin color.
Although no specific date has been picked for a premiere, Lovecraft Coountry is set to debut on HBO Max in August. With the level of talent attached to the project in addition to its timely themes, the show is sure to be on the wishlist for many of the newly minted streaming service's subscribers.